Before reading Historical Brewing Techniques, Lars had already inspired my brewing through his blog. Initially I brewed beers with the traditional Norwegian trio of smoked malt, juniper infusion, and kviek. Lars’ detailed and perceptive accounts have since led me to apply the ingredients and techniques to New World styles. It is invaluable to have his years of research and interviews distilled into this insightful and encyclopedic tome.
Until six or seven years ago, the borders of European brewing were tidy, well-understood, and well-documented—or so we English-speakers thought. That was when Lars Marius Garshol started publishing incredible stories about farmhouse brewing traditions in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. Suddenly the brewing world seemed a lot bigger than anyone imagined. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Historical Brewing Techniques is the most important book on brewing in at least twenty years.
Imagine brewing as a mansion of known knowledge, ingredients, recipes, and equipment living beneath a single shared roof. With Historical Brewing Techniques, Lars Marius Garshol has rediscovered a secret garden, revealing hidden-in-plain-sight farmhouse yeast strains and revolutionary brewing and fermentation approaches that will require brewers and drinkers to rethink beer’s very foundation.
An eye-opening excursion into beer's European roots, and an astonishing work of historical and cultural research. Thanks to Lars Garshol, I'll never see beer, farmhouse or otherwise, the same way again.
Farmhouse ale” is a term used by many yet understood by few. Lars Garshol is one who gets it, and he shares his wealth of knowledge in this book. It’s not a beer style guide, but rather a fascinating look into the myriad ways beer was made prior to industrialization. Compelling read for brewers and beer aficionados alike.
Lars Marius Garshol has written the definitive work on kveik and traditional eastern European farmhouse brewing. He has witnessed and laboriously documented yeasts and traditions to help preserve and spread this wondrous art. Whether discussing ingredients, malting techniques, the practical nature of brewing on a working farm, or the rituals and superstitions of farmhouse brewers, this book gives a detailed explanation of all aspects of this unique and ancient practice. I cannot recommend this book enough.
It’s rare that a new book on beer catches my attention. Historical Brewing Techniques reveals valuable knowledge, perspectives, techniques, and beer culture from a time and place almost forgotten. It’s as though these isolated farms have incubated their brewing heritage and now Garshol reveals their secrets to us in an entertaining, exciting, and enlightening fashion. The fun part is exploring these unique techniques and considering how they fit into your brewing world. There’s enough to engage any brewer who loves to explore unheard of possibilities.
People have brewed since the dawn of civilization, largely with techniques that never survived into archeological findings or historical documents. Instead, these techniques have been stored in the folk wisdom of farmhouse brewers, and Historical Brewing Techniques is an outstanding documentation of this forgotten craft. Lars Marius Garshol has filled an enormous gap of brewing knowledge with years of extensive data collection in the Nordic and Baltic countries, and Russia.
Wow! This book shows us how much we have forgotten and reminds us there is so much still to discover. Many of these old brewing methods were on the brink of extinction, but now I find I am super excited to try to make a keptinis! The brewing methods preserved in northern and eastern Europe provide insight into other countries’ beer making origins as well. As a Belgian, I think this book sheds light on how Waghebaert, Cuyte, zwert bier, and roetbier were made. I’m inspired now to dig out the documents for those beers and try again. What a gift! Thank you, Lars.
Lars Garshol has brought our prehistoric “Nordic grog” to life in his new book, which is bubbling up and brimming over with close observation and practical advice about wild yeasts, herbs, household brewing, and much, much more. It’s a delightful and informative paean to historic Scandinavian and Baltic brews, benefiting the serious homebrewer and enthusiastic beer connoisseur alike.
Brilliantly written! Lars provides a wealth of technical and historical knowledge to his readers in Historical Brewing Techniques. His writing is fascinating and evocative—the reader can’t help but feel they are traveling through Scandinavia and eastern Europe alongside him. This book is a must read for anyone passionate about the histories and techniques of true farmhouse beer making.